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Townsend Security Data Privacy Blog

NSA’s Utah Data Center: Is Everything Safe in Salt Lake?

Posted by Adam Kleinerman on Apr 3, 2012 9:33:00 AM

data centerIt is increasingly apparent how much smaller the world is getting. As long as there has been human civilization, technology has decreased the vast uncertainty of our universe. We are a far cry from the 15th century, when the European elite didn’t know North America existed. Bell invented the telephone, and suddenly months of correspondence could be condensed into a five minute chat. Then came the personal computer and opportunities for seemingly everything in the world were endless. As the complete paradigm shift to cyber data happened, the increasing dependability on what is put on the net became a way of life.

Recently, The National Security Administration (NSA) began construction on what is plainly named the “Utah Data Center” in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The “Utah Data Center” is going to be a one-million square foot, state-of-the-art data center designed for the purpose of intercepting, deciphering, analyzing, and storing communications from all over the world.

NSA’s security director General Keith Alexander has been under a constant barrage of questions from the American public regarding the security and privacy of the information that is being collected.  Concerns include:

    • Does the NSA have access to Americans’ emails?
    • Does the NSA have access to Americans’ Google searches?
    • Does the NSA have access to Americans’ text messages

All of these questions have been answered by Alexander with a flat “no.”

I think we can assume that the NSA doesn’t have outright access to these private details from our lives, but many are concerned about their right to privacy and if the NSA infringing on it. It is understandable when places like the “Utah Data Center” are created to intercept and store personal information. As a company that deals with protecting private information, we have to trust this new facility has the absolute best security in place.

For more information on data privacy, download our podcast Data Privacy for the Non-Technical Person. Patrick Townsend, our Founder & CTO, discusses what PII (personally identifiable information) is, what the most effective methods for protecting PII, as well as the first steps your company should take towards establishing a data privacy strategy.

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Topics: security, Data Privacy

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